November 26, 2020
A member of the Health Commission of Iran’s Majlis parliament, Homayoun Sameh Bakhtabadi, says that even disregarding the U.S. sanctions, it will take at least two years for the coronavirus vaccine to reach Iran.
Bakhtabadi told the state-run Iran Students News Agency (ISNA) on Tuesday that the production and import of the coronavirus vaccine will not be done “soon,” and that the “people of Iran should know that there is no coronavirus vaccine available for them at the moment.”
According to Bakhtabadi, “European countries have already purchased the vaccine and are set to use it. So, it will not be Iran’s turn soon.”
“Transportation of the coronavirus vaccine also has its specific complications,” Bakhtabadi noted, adding that “Iran should rule out the import of vaccines from the United States.”
Bakhtabadi’s remarks are in sharp contrast with Health Minister Saeed Namaki’s recent statements. Namaki has claimed that Iran intended to procure eighteen million doses of the vaccine from approved sources across the globe and had already chosen “four sources” to do so.
Without mentioning the “approved sources,” Namaki claimed that Iran intends to consult with other vaccine producers and buy their surplus products.
The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, produced by American and German pharmaceutical companies, have already passed the testing stages and will be available beginning December 1 if approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
However, most doses of these two vaccines have allegedly been pre-purchased by the United States or European countries, and there is no indication of any surplus.